Bahrain WEC: Hartley beats Kobayashi to pole in Toyota 1-2

Brendon Hartley beat Kamui Kobayashi to pole position as Toyota locked out the front row for this weekend's Bahrain 6 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. 

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Hartley claimed his first pole of the Hypercar era with a 1m47.049s aboard the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid. 

That compared with the 1m47.447s from Kamui Kobayashi, who had topped the times in the second and third sessions of free practice in the #7 Toyota. 

Both Toyotas set only one timed lap around a circuit known for its high tyre wear to save their allocation of Michelin rubber for the race. 

"It's been a long time coming," said Hartley, who last claimed pole in the WEC at the Fuji round of the 2019/20 series when qualifying was an aggregate of the times of two drivers.

"It was close at Monza and I felt like I could have had the pole at Le Mans until I got traffic at the end of the lap.

"I made a mistake on my qually sim in FP3 here, so I built into the lap and had a really good sector three."

Andre Negrao was less than a second off the pace of the pole-winning Toyota aboard the solo Alpine A480-Gibson. The Brazilian ended up on a 1m48.003s set on his second flying lap, but had a quicker time deleted for a track limits infringement. 

Tom Blomqvist claimed LMP2 pole for the JOTA team, which had led the way in each of the three practice session with its pair of Oreca 07 Gibsons.

He was quickest in the #28 Oreca on his first run courtesy of a 1m49.932s and then improved to a 1m49.885s after going out on for a second shot on a new set of tyres.

United Autosports driver Filipe Albuquerque trailed Blomqvist by half a second after the first runs, but ended up only a tenth shy of the pole with a 1m49.994s on a new set of tyres.

The second JOTA car ended up third in Antonio Felix da Costa's hands on 1m50.198s.

Loic Duval was was the quickest of the Pro/Am runners in fourth position aboard the TDS-run Realteam Oreca.

Porsche 1-2 in GTE Pro

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Kevin Estre, Neel Jani

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Kevin Estre, Neel Jani

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

Porsche driver Kevin Estre claimed his third GTE Pro pole of the season by just three hundredths of a second from teammate Gianmaria Bruni. 

Estre's 1m56.144s aboard the #92 Porsche 911 RSR compared with Bruni's 1m56.178s in the second of the Manthey-run cars. 

Both Porsche drivers stayed out for a second lap but failed to improve. 

Ferrari edged closer to Porsche than in free practice, Miguel Molina just shading Alessandro Pier Guidi. 

Molina posted a 1m57.327s on his first flying lap in his AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. That compared with the 1m57.573s set by Pier Guidi on his second lap in the championship-leading Ferrari.

Rino Mastronardi took GTE Am qualifying honours after being brought into the Iron Lynx WEC line-up for Bahrain. 

The 2021 European Le Mans Series GTE champion with the Italian team took the pole ahead of Aston Martin driver Paul Dalla Lana. 

Mastronardi set a 1m58.918s on his second lap, after losing his first to a track limits violation, which compared with Dalla Lana's 1m59.331s.

The six-hour race, the first of two back-to-back rounds at the Bahrain International Circuit that conclude the 2021 WEC, starts at 11am local time on Saturday.

The WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv this Saturday. Click here for more information

Bahrain 6 Hours - Qualifying results (Hypercar and LMP2):

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'47.049  
2 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'47.447 0.398
3 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 1'48.003 0.954
4 28 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.885 2.836
5 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.994 2.945
6 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.198 3.149
7 70 Switzerland Esteban Garcia
France Loic Duval
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.559 3.510
8 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.658 3.609
9 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.942 3.893
10 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Poland Robert Kubica
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.979 3.930
11 31 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.043 3.994
12 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.312 4.263
13 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
India Kush Maini
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.487 4.438
14 1 Germany Sophia Flörsch
Netherlands Beitske Visser
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.736 4.687

GTE results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 92 France Kevin Estre
Switzerland Neel Jani
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'56.144  
2 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'56.178 0.034
3 52 Brazil Daniel Serra
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'57.327 1.183
4 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'57.573 1.429
5 60 Italy Rino Mastronardi
Italy Andrea Piccini
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'58.687 2.543
6 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Brazil Augusto Farfus
Brazil Marcos Gomes
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'59.331 3.187
7 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Riccardo Pera
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'59.404 3.260
8 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'59.410 3.266
9 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'59.534 3.390
10 33 United States Ben Keating
Luxembourg Dylan Pereira
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'59.538 3.394
11 88 United Arab Emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi
Belgium Adrien de Leener
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'59.923 3.779
12 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'00.263 4.119
13 77 Germany Christian Ried
Australia Jaxon Evans
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'00.294 4.150
14 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'00.300 4.156
15 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Belgium Sarah Bovy
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'00.457 4.313
16 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'00.939 4.795
17 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Australia Scott Andrews
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'01.877 5.733
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